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Legal Ethics & Internet Marketing

 

Click here for Lawyer Internet Marketing and Ethics Articles

As a lawyer, you know you are required to abide by your state’s rules of professional conduct. When it comes to advertising, whether on paper or on the internet, each state has specific requirements. You must ensure that your website complies with your state’s rules to avoid an investigation. Your personal reputation is on the line.

Each state has its own Rules of Professional Conduct. However, there are two basic principles which apply to every lawyer’s website: 1. truthful advertising and 2. appropriate disclaimers.

Truthful Advertising – Attorney websites cannot be misleading or dishonest.

Appropriate Disclaimers – Lawyer websites should contain disclaimers about creation of attorney-client privilege and communications.

Legal internet marketing has exploded over the last few years. There is no rule of professional conduct which specifically addresses internet marketing. This leaves law firms and lawyers to interpret traditional lawyer advertising rules and apply them to internet marketing, which can often lead to ethical violations as seen in case law.  We are going to see more case law addressing internet marketing, but as of right now, there aren’t very many cases which establish set principles for lawyer websites.

We’ve seen lawyers advertise that they are lawyers in states they aren’t even licensed to practice in. We’ve seen lawyers outright lie on their websites.

As lawyers, we work with our clients to interpret a state’s laws and rules on internet advertising.

Don’t work with an internet marketing company which doesn’t have this important issue on their radar. It may cost you time and money answering a bar investigation.

Legal Internet Marketing & Ethics Articles:

  • Ethics Issues Lawyers Face When Posting On Social Media (Part 3) Click here for part two of this article. Pennsylvania Ethics Rules on Lawyers’ Social Media Posts For lawyers practicing in Pennsylvania, the question is: do state ethics rules govern social media postings? The short answer is that in the context of lawyer internet advertising, the state has the constitutional right to regulate commercial speech, or that which beckons ...
  • Ethics Issues Lawyers Face When Posting On Social Media (Part 2) Click here for part one of this article. Does the following social media post violate Professional Ethics Rules? “Another great victory in court today! My client is delighted. Who wants to be next?” California’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility certainly thought so and looked at Rule 1-400 of California Rules of Professional Conduct to come to that conclusion. Rule ...
  • Ethics Issues Lawyers Face When Posting On Social Media (Part 1) Social media is everywhere and it is here to stay. Social media is not only popular with the younger generation, it is also popular with the older generation. My parents and their friends, who are in their 70’s have Facebook accounts and check their accounts more often than I do! Not only is Facebook a great ...
  • Lawyer Internet Marketing & Conversion – The Importance of Content on Your Law Firm’s Website Lawyers who are serious about internet marketing must pay attention to the content on their websites. Potential clients, whether they are strangers searching for legal services or referrals from friends or neighbors, will look at your law firm’s website. When they do, they must be convinced of two things, 1. you are an expert in ...
  • Lawyers Need to Pay Attention to the Tactics Used by SEO & Internet Marketing Companies Over the last few years, reviews or testimonials, have become huge. People making purchasing decisions value what complete strangers have to say about the product or service. Lawyer services are no different. Therefore, many internet marketing strategies rely in some part on reviews/testimonials. Many lawyers post reviews or snippets of reviews on their websites and with ...
  • LCL Web Solutions Partners Present CLE – Using Social Media in Your Law Practice *For immediate release LCL Web Solutions partners, Julia Lee and Louisa Chen, planned and presented a three hour continuing legal education (CLE) course about important issues in lawyers’ use of social media. From advertising and ethics issues to defamation on the internet, the CLE was presented to a large group of lawyers at the Pennsylvania Bar ...
  • Solicitation and a Lawyer’s Use of Social Media in Pennsylvania (Part 3) Examples of Using Social Media to Obtain Clients *Click here for part one and part two of this article. There are various ways to use social media to contact potential clients, and the method of contact varies, depending on the type of platform. LinkedIn (LI) allows a user to email someone already within their network. To contact anyone ...
  • Solicitation and a Lawyer’s Use of Social Media in Pennsylvania (Part 2) Click here for part one of this article. Fortunately, in 2010, the Philadelphia Bar Association Professional Guidance Committee (Opinion 2010-6) addressed this question and came down on the side of lawyers. The opinion delves into the history of the rule against solicitation and the addition of the phrase, “real-time electronic communication.” In 2005, Pennsylvania adopted the amendment ...
  • Solicitation and a Lawyer’s Use of Social Media in Pennsylvania (Part 1) The emergence and popularity of social media have changed the way we interact with each other online. We’re no longer limited to traditional methods of networking (i.e., lunches with potential clients, networking events, etc). We can engage our network from the comfort of our offices and even with our smart phones. Whether it’s use of ...
  • LCL Web Solutions Partners Present CLE on Internet Marketing & Ethics to PA Bar Institute On May 3, 2013, the partners at LCL Web Solutions presented a 2 hour CLE at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute: Internet Marketing for Lawyers, Don’t Leave Ethics Behind. Learn More This CLE – Lawyer Advertising Ethics and Internet Marketing With the explosion of the internet and use of social media, more and more lawyers are employing internet ...
  • Lawyer Internet Marketing & Ethics – Duties to Website Visitors/Prospective Clients Last  month, the American Bar Association adopted several important, pro-lawyer changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. As a result of these changes, many states are likely to follow suit and amend their rules as well. Click here to download the ABA Amendments to Model Rules, dated August 2012. Duties to Website Visitors…Prospective Clients One of ...
  • Disclaimers in Lawyer & Law Firm Websites – Use of Contact Forms and the Duty of Confidentiality Now more than ever, lawyers and law firms must consider the proper use of a disclaimer on websites. In fact, right now, the ABA is considering amendments to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. One proposed amendment recommends the use of disclaimers when dealing with prospective clients. The proposed amendment to Model Rule 1.18, Duties to ...
  • Lawyer Internet Marketing & Ethics Update – Changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct *For Immediate Release, August 13, 2012 In 2009, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 was appointed to study technology and its impact on lawyers. Its recommendation, Resolution 105B, outlines several changes to Model Rules 1.18, 7.2 and 7.3.  Those changes were approved by the ABA House of Delegates on August 6, 2012. Click here to access ...

Contact our legal internet marketing team today. 215.839.8461